Children of Africa

I was born in South Africa and although I live in Canada now, the children of Africa has a very special place in my heart. We are very fortunate to live in a country that has medical support, public school system, a working social system and many more. The children of Africa are in need of so many basic needs, but not necessarily the same as in a western country or developed country. “Basic” in Africa means something totally different.

For us who live in well developed countries, we see technology as part of our everyday life. We learn through it, communicate with it and some of us can not live without it. The children of Africa does not share the same expectations as children of Western countries does. Their basic needs are really just BASIC. Food, water, housing, medical need and family support. What I mean by family support or social support is that so many children need to look after their siblings because their parents has past away because of HIV/Aids. Is basic education needs really access to the internet? Is not not an attempt to “westernalizing” Africa. Is access to the internet not opening a new world to these children with no support system to help them with it? They will be exposed to western problems that has not yet surfaced in their villages or towns. In bigger cities and further developed countries better and more access to the internet might work, but it should not be generalized.

One Laptop One Child is one of the programs that is an example of giving children “world” at their fingertips, but not necessarily providing them with a better solution for their very bad situation. The program is well designed, for a good course, but I think Africa’s problems will not be solved by it.

Another program that makes more sense to me is world vision program. This program teaches men to be fisherman and not to hand them the fish to eat. This help people to solve the basic needs problem and one that I would like to support.

People that think technology is the way to go with the Children of Africa should certainly support this program. I feel the need in Africa is to save lives and therefore I will more likely support programs like World Vision.


National Anthem

Some people just have more singing talents than other(me).

Old is good – Balance is better!


Dean Shareski has put out a blog post that stopped me in my tracks. He commented on how we always want to know what is new, newest technology, newest post, but do we ever spend time to go back at what we have saved or bookmarked. Do we always have to be first to hand in a project, first to comment on post?

For those of us that still like to read books, we do keep that favorite book on our shelves and read it again after a few years. It should be the same with writing and reading thoughts. It should not be put out there and never go back to read it again. What was the point then for writing it? If we have thoughts and write about it, it does not mean our thoughts are the only thoughts that is right, we would only “grow”if we keep our minds open to other’s thoughts as well.

The message from Dean Shareski is: “So my message is to enjoy instant or new but don’t forget delayed or old. Balance is a great concept.”





Consumer Math 20S (Fall 2007)


“A window through the walls of our classroom. This is an interactive learning ecology for students and parents in my Consumer Math 20S class. This ongoing dialogue is as rich as YOU make it. Visit often and post your comments freely.”


As part of our ECMP 355 we were asked to commented on Darren Kuropatwa’s Blog (Consumer Math 20S class). I am not a math person, but did find it interesting to see how Mr Kuropatwa integrated technology in his everyday class structure. What I find very positive is that when you ask your students to write something about what they had learned that day it made them think about it on a different level. Now they have to explain in a way that somebody else will be able to understand it and it is a good opportunity to assure you understand the class/lesson of the day. It took some thinking to comment in a way that will be appropriate and on a level that is understandable for students of that age.

When I am finally able to teach one day, it will be high on my priority list to have a student blog for my students. It gives the parents some insight on what is going on in the class. Secondly it will gives me time to evaluate if the students understand the concepts and ideas that is introduced to them. I am a educator that strongly believes in the learning process and not necessarily the end result and by blogging your will stay on top of it.

I have posted some of comments I’ve made:

Good job on explaining what you did in class. You will see that you will remember something that you have explain to somebody else or put it on your blog so much better. Keep up the good work.

This section that you do in class now is so important. One day when you earn your own money you need to know where every dime is going. You work hard for your money and you should be the one that has control over it and the first thing to understand is where the money is going that has been deducted and how much will be deducted.

Hi Almond

This is great that you learn how to use a spreadsheet. I am a volunteer on our local school council and often have to keep records on who have paid for something and who are still owing us money. I always use Google Docs to do this. It is so easy to share the information with the people that works with me.
It will be very useful to calculate your income one day, but soon you will use it for more things as well.
Keep up the good work. I learn so much by just following all of your blogs.

It seems that this student really grasp the idea of the topic discussed in class. It is important to understand the concept of finding the 10%. I see it so often when my children like to buy something and need to add the tax to know if they have enough money. The first thing I taught them was how to add 10% so they can see if they have more or less enough money to buy it. When they are a bit older they will see tax is not only 10% but we will leave for later. It is a quick mental math to do and they can apply it to more things as they grow up.

I also like to agree with Michelle on how important it is to ask questions. If you don’t ask a question the teacher will not know that you don’t understand or that you need some more information. Teachers will teach with a certain speed but if you don’t keep up you need to slow them down and the one way of doing it is by asking questions.

Knowledge gives you power.
Knowledge gives you power, but also to know where to find answers if you don’t know. While I am trying to write to you about the power you will generate because you choose to go to school I remembered the following post I read a while ago. I will quote some of it, but you can also go the website if you like.

“I’m sure you agree with me that knowledge is power. I remember I story I once heard about an elderly maid who served her mistress faithfully. She loved her mistress so much that she took care of her even when she was diagnosed of having a terminal ailment. As it is with love and affection, the mistress also replicated this love. Since she did not have any sibling at her point of death, she gave this woman what she would regard as her most precious possession, a small sheet of paper to remember her mistress by. This was enough for the old maid.

This older woman was an illiterate but understood the language of love. As soon as her mistress was diseased, she glazed this sheet of paper and hung it in her own private home. Not long after she was also diagnosed of an ailment, it wasn’t a terminal ailment, neither was in incurable. It caused much pain, and was so expensive to treat. The projected bills were going to be about $30,000, there was no way she’ll ever get this money. She decided to resign to fate, and die. It wasn’t worth it going through such pain at an elderly age. She had suffered for weeks and was at the point where she begged for euthanasia -painless killing.
On the day the doctor came over to her ward with the plan of putting her out of her misery, they decided to have a small chat before the elderly lady bade farewell to this side of life. The lady was excited that her pain would end, and shared with the doctor the high points of her life. In this long discussion, she reached into her bag and showed the doctor one of her most cherished possessions. A glazed sheet of paper she remembers her fondest mistress by. The doctor collected it and took a closer look, his jaw dropped and eyes looked dazed, “what?”. What this woman had glazed was a $1,000,000 cheque. She lived in pain, suffered and was about to end it all, not because she was not rich, not because she could not afford a better life, but because she didn’t know. Knowledge is indeed power.

The good book actually says that a man who is in honour and does not know is like a perishing beast. Knowledge is vital. Information is crucial. Information is a vital ingredient in what you need to move from where you are to where you are going. The definition of power I love the most defines power as the ability to choose. The more options you have, the more powerful you are. Knowledge gives power, the more you know the more options you have. Some of the most thriving businesses today thrive in providing cutting edge information at cutting edge speed. We are in an information driven age… that is not just for our countries and the media, that’s for you and I.”

Telecollaborative Web Projects

In class we looked at a few of these “Telecollaborative Web Projects” and would like to highlight a couple of them.
Monster Exchange is designed to encourage the development of reading and writing skills while integrating Internet technology into the classroom curriculum. This is a wonderful projects for kids in different age groups. It sounds very easy but to describe something(monster) in written words with no eye contact, no hand gestures is not easy. I find it a great way of practicing writing to help you to be better in creative writing. It helps you to describe something so that the person that reads your story have the same picture in their mind as you did when you wrote it.

Excited students will learn geography through an engaging, relevant exchange of information….

This program brings the kids in touch with students from all over the world and to help them to understand different cultures. It also let the kids think a little about their own culture and way of living when they have to describe it on their postcard. Kids learn a lot from other kids as they write about and in a style that their peers can understand. This is a tool which I will most certainly use when I teach. Other than learning about other cultures, climates, and geography it also helps the kids with their writing skills.

Power of a Blog

How powerful can a blog be??

As I am working on my final project I just realize more and more the power there is in a blog. I’ve posted a book review on Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas and was I surprised when the author left a comment on the blog. The power that I was talking about is when my kids realized they can write about a book they have read recently and maybe the author will leave a comment on their post as well. So this will probably be happening in our house in the next few days and I sure hope somebody will leave a nice comment on their posts

Now I should stop blogging and watch TV for a change.

Technology in the Classroom.

While working on my final project for ECMP 355 I came across Diane’s blog. She has some excellent ideas how to use technology for book reports by her students. Slide Share and Photo Story are just a few of the tools that she will use.

It is great to see how people use the tools, we talked about in ECMP355, with their students.